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Q • I need help in getting along with my husband's two kids. They talk back, complain, constantly interrupt our conversations and demand all the attention from their dad every weekend. I have actually developed anxiety, drink more wine and sometimes hide in our bedroom for hours. I've secretly begun to hate them. What can I do without getting involved in a "mean stepmom" blame game?

From a reader • For one, you can act like an adult and put your foot down for rules in your own house. And two, if your husband doesn't support you, make an exit from this marriage now. — S.F. in Los Angeles

From Jodie Lynn • This is a tough situation and happens more frequently than most individuals are willing to acknowledge.

It sounds like the kids are harboring ill feelings about their dad and mom not being together and may be blaming their breakup on you.

They may be thinking that if they can cause enough problems between the two of you, he will leave you and go back to their mom.

Having the support of your husband to make some highly important changes is mandatory for your peace of mind as well as for your relationship with him, and of course, the kids.

Although the kids are very much a part of him, you're going to have to approach him with the seriousness of your personal feelings.

There's absolutely no reason for you to have to put up with this type of behavior.

On the other hand, there are probably all kinds of reasons why you haven't made more “noise” about it.

Whatever the reasons, if you haven't already, find a professional counselor to share your feelings with to gain helpful insight.

It sounds like you may have been trying to deal with this for some time.

However, don't give up on the situation and take back your life, your husband and your home.

Once you find the support you need, requesting your husband to also see the counselor would be an ideal follow-up.

Eventually, maybe even the kids should also partake in the sessions.

It's definitely going to be a lot of hard work and you will certainly be considered the mean stepmom for a while but don't let that get in your way.

Everything will hopefully all work out in the end if you prepare yourself emotionally, mentally and physically for the bumpy road ahead, tighten your seat belt and only look forward.


My husband and I have two children in elementary school, and our jobs require us to leave the house super early, especially since the travel time to and from is almost an hour. The before-school program doesn't open before we leave, which means that they are waiting for the school bus by themselves at least 45 minutes before any other kids get there. What do other parents do in these types of situations that are working for them?

To share parenting tips or submit questions, write to: Parent to Parent, 2464 Taylor Road, Suite 131, Wildwood, MO 63040. Email:, or go to which provides a secure and easy way to submit tips or questions. All tips must have city, state and first and last name or initials to be included in the column.

Jodie Lynn is an award-winning parenting columnist, author of five books and mother to three children. She and her family live in Wildwood.